Monday, April 30, 2012

New & Improved PetalPods and MonoPods!!!




Introducing the newly improved Petal PodTM! We've taken the same great design of the world's most innovative calligraphy ink well and added leak proof containers, each with their own threaded cap!!

Whether you dip your nib or like to load with a brush, the 6 smaller pods are perfect for holding just the right amount of ink, gouache, or water color. Use them to create fascinating palettes, creating a subtle flow of value and hue by dipping your nib in two to three alternating colors at a time. Each small pod measures .63 inches wide and 1 inch high. 

The larger center pod can be filled with water/cleaner or to to hold a wet wipe while you work. 

A calligrapher's dream tool, Petal Pods love you and want you to grow. Made of natural pine, Petal PodsTM are handcrafted, signed and embellished right here in Georgia. Designed by Anne Elser, Petal Pods are sold exclusively at Binders. Wooden base measures 4.5 inches wide X .75 inches high.





Introducing the newly improved MonoPodTM! We've taken the same great design of the world's most innovative calligraphy ink well and added leak proof containers, each with their own threaded cap!!

Whether you dip your nib or like to load with a brush, the smaller pod is perfect for holding just the right amount of  ink, gouache, or water color and measures .63 inches wide and 1 inch high. 

The larger center pod can be filled with water/cleaner or to to hold a wet wipe while you work. 

A calligrapher's dream tool, MonoPods love you and want you to grow. Made of natural pine, MonoPods are handcrafted, signed and embellished right here in Georgia. Designed by Anne Elser, MonoPods are sold exclusively at Binders. Wooden base measures 2.5 inches wide X .75 inches high.

Tough Day. Nice Evening.

Here's a piece I did recently for the 2012 Atlanta Reggie Ezell year long workshop. We're studying Blackletter and its variations. This is a collage created from the text of my brother's AT hike back in 1987. 

There are also illustrations and text from a children's textbook about the space travel. I thought the journeys paralleled each other. I used W&N gouache, watercolor and walnut ink. I left the paper seams, raw edges and created faux stitching in places. Every letter "o" has two white slashes in the center, symbolizing the AT's "blaze." Blazes are rectangular markings on tree trunks, meant to assure a hiker that they are still on the trail. 

Speaking of journeys - this one has been amazing. Thanks to all in Reggie's class for accompanying me. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bill Kemp Workshop: Flourishing & Birds with Pointed Pen


Very exciting news Inkers! The Art School at Binders is bringing calligrapher Bill Kemp to Atlanta this Fall for a two-evening workshop called Flourishing and Birds with Pointed Pen on September 13 - 14, 2012 from 6-10PM. Woo hoo!

We are THRILLED to have him here!

To see more examples of flourished birds, click here.
To read more about Bill and his work, click here.

Below are all the juicy workshop details. I will be there, so scoot on over and sit with me!

If you have any trouble signing up on line, contact Jacob Gunter at Jacob@Bindersart.com.


Flourishing Bird Pntd Pen 9/13 (ARTZ1230)

Flourishing & Birds with Pointed Pen with Bill Kemp
2 Evening Sessions | All Levels | Price: $130 (includes book) | Min. 8 / Max. 16
ARTZ1230 | Thurs. & Fri. Sept. 13 & 14, 6-10pm
Please note that there are no refunds after the August 27th registration deadline
This two session evening workshop covers techniques for using the pointed pen to flourish. Learning basic compound curves and expanding on them to create beautiful flourishes.

The flourishes are balanced shades of thick and thin lines, building on the contrast of the background and your pen strokes. There is no lettering taught in this class, but examples of combining the flourishes with letters will be demonstrated. A comprehensive workbook is part of the workshop for the students to continue to study this art form.

For more information about this instructor and supply lists, please see Instructor Bios & Supply Lists in the menu to right, under Art School at BINDERS.

By enrolling in this course you certify that you have read and understand The Art School Policies and Registration procedures located in the menu to right, under Art School at BINDERS.

THIS CLASS IS AT OUR ATLANTA STORE.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Studio Assistant

I recently put out an ad for a studio assistant to help keep the small of my back warm during the chilly spring mornings. Olaf (aka Puff) has filled the position nicely. And he works for FREE. 

Here are some snaps of him dutifully fulfilling his job description as I work through an envelope job. 




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Calligraphy 3 Overflow class: May 3 - June 7

Hi All,

The May 2nd Calligraphy 3 class is now full.

We have a waiting list going for another class of the same to begin Thursday, May 3rd, 2012.
This class would meet for 6 Thursday night sessions on the following dates: May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and June 7th.

To sign up and get on the waiting list, email Jacob Gunter at Jacob@BindersArt.com. We would just need at least 3 students for that class to make.

Happy Spring to all!

~Anne




Calligraphy 3 is an advanced calligraphy class designed for those who have taken Calligraphy 2 or 3 or who already know the fundamentals of any calligraphic hand and are ready for the challenge of applying the words and other elements to the page. Whether you are addressing envelopes, designing a monogram, laying out a certificate, document or quote of any size, this class will help you understand the concept of hierarchy on a page, drama, stable compositions and balance of elements. You will also be encouraged to take the plunge into the world of flourishing! Experimentation with color, gouache, inks and paper is also encouraged. Bring in your free spirits and let's have fun!

New Classes in May 2012


Hi Friends,

I've got three great classes beginning the first week of May at The Art School at Binders and there are just a few seats left in each. 
Pass the word - life is good! Lots to learn and share!
~Anne




5 seats left as of 4.17.12

This is an introductory look at Copperplate, an elegant and elastic hand frequently used for formal invitations, documents and bridal events. Completely enchanting, the dramatic thicks and thins of this delicate hand will make you swoon.During the six week course, students will be given handouts and guide sheets, learning the upper and lower case characters. We will also address spacing and layout for addressing envelopes. Calligraphy is less about pretty handwriting, but more about DRAWING each and every letter. It's about establishing a pacing and rhythmic motion as you write - giving you a consistency of shapes and letters, and spaces in between words and lines. It is highly relaxing and meditative. Like yoga for the hands. –––––––––––––––––––––



4 seats left as of 4.17.12

Learn the fundamentals of making books and boxes in this class with a variety of materials and techniques. The anatomy of a book is fascinating, the covers, spine, folios, signatures, fly sheets, headbands and more are all waiting for your heart and hands. Folding, gluing and stitching goes a long way. Make wonderful gifts, sketchbooks and journals, photo albums, etc. The only skills required are a love of paper, attention to detail, patience and a need to share the FUN!
–––––––––––––––––––––




1 seat left as of 4.17.12

Calligraphy 3 is an advanced calligraphy class designed for those who have taken Calligraphy 2 & 3 or who already know the fundamentals of any calligraphic hand and are ready for the challenge of applying the words and other elements to the page. Whether you are addressing envelopes, designing a monogram, laying out a certificate, document or quote of any size, this class will help you understand the concept of hierarchy on a page, drama, stable compositions and balance of elements. You will also be encouraged to take the plunge into the world of flourishing! Experimentation with color, gouache, inks and paper is also encouraged. Bring in your free spirits and let's have fun!
–––––––––––––––––––––


Monday, April 02, 2012

SPENCERIAN MONUMENT UNDERWAY FOR AMERICAN HANDWRITING by Michael Sull


                                                                                                
                                                                            
SPENCERIAN MONUMENT UNDERWAY FOR AMERICAN HANDWRITING
  -- Michael Sull

My dear friends and fellow penmen,

I have very exciting news to share! Work is in progress to create the first public monument in America dedicated to our heritage of handwriting! It is difficult to understand why this has never been done previously, but everyone who has become involved in the project is ecstatic for this opportunity to permanently recognize our penmanship history for posterity.
  The idea for creating some form of recognition concerning our unique American handwriting era crossed my mind 2 years ago when I began planning for the 25th anniversary of the Spencerian Saga in 2011. As I thought about the influence that the Saga program has had in promoting Platt Rogers Spencer and our country's Golden Age of Penmanship, I considered the thought that there should be some way to commemorate the role that the event has served for such a long period of time. It was then that a much more important idea hit me, and the " big picture" came into view.
  I realized that, despite the importance of Platt Rogers Spencer's work, as well as the work of all the legendary penmen who followed him, no monument, memorial, or formal recognition has ever been created to acknowledge their invaluable contributions to our country. As we all know, American penmanship played a tremendous role in the education of our citizens during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The skill and teaching of handwriting had a vast influence in the progressive increase of literacy throughout our population, and Business Writing became the mainstream vehicle for all commercial correspondence. In addition, Spencerian Script touched nearly everyone at that time with the expression of social correspondence, allowing families and friends to stay in touch with one another. And yet, in the 148 years since the death of Spencer, no one has created a public recognition of any kind to show that our magnificent penmen ever existed at all, let alone what they had accomplished.
  Today, in this 21st century, we can do something to correct this oversight, and each of us can take pride in making this project succeed. Here and now--- this really is our moment in history, and rest assured that there will be penman who follow us. There is a line from a song that reads; 
"... we all become forefathers, bye and bye..." (Dan Fogelberg). So it goes. 
  It is both our privilege and responsibility to record the story of American penmanship so that future generations can know and love this art--  and it's history-- as we do. The Spencerian Monument for American Handwriting will be our gift to the preservation of our native penmanship and the lives of our colleagues, past and present. We owe our predecessors more than respect; we owe them our commitment that their efforts will be remembered and never lost again.

                                          THE MONUMENT

  The project will consist of 5 large bronze tablets mounted on a 4- sided limestone obelisk, 4 feet wide and 1 foot high at its base, upon which the spire will be mounted. At this point the obelisk will be 3 feet square for approximately 5 feet of height, then tapering slightly to 30 inches square up to a final height of approximately 9 feet. A finial consisting of a sculpted bronze quill is planned for placement at the top of the monument.
  The two largest plaques, each measuring 22" x 32", will be the focal points of the monument. One plaque will be devoted to Platt Rogers Spencer as the Father of American Handwriting, with text about his life and accomplishments, and the other plaque will commemorate the Spencerian Saga, with text about its founding, program, and influence for over a quarter-century of promoting Spencer's legacy.
  The remaining 3 plaques are: 1) Spencer's iconic poem, " The Origin of Spencerian Penmanship"; 2) the Dedication plaque, featuring the date of dedication (August 24, 2012) and the names of the Spencer Monument Committee members from the Spencerian Saga and the City of Geneva, Ohio; and the Patron's Plaque, featuring the names of donors who have donated $500 or more to the project.

                                                  CONTRIBUTION PROGRAM

  The Spencer Monument project is spearheaded by the Spencerian Saga and it's many students, but everyone- whether you have attended the Saga or not, is welcomed and encouraged to participate in this historic event by making a contribution. Donations must be in the form of a check or money order made out to " Spencer Monument Project" and can be in any amount. Donations should be mailed to: 
                                                      Spencer Monument Project
                                                        Post Office Box 65
                                                Cottage Grove, Minnesota  55016

  Everyone who makes a donation will receive a flourished certificate that I have especially designed for this occasion. I will inscribe the donor's name in flourished Spencerian Script. For donations of $100 or more, contributors will receive a commemorative oblique pen holder crafted by Committee members Michael Grady and myself. The words: " Spencerian Monument for American Handwriting-- Geneva, Ohio-- August 24, 2012" will be laser-engraved on each pen.
Individuals or organizations donating $500 or more will have their name(s) inscribed on the bronze Patrons Plaque permanently mounted on the monument, in addition to receiving the certificate and pen holder. Our total goal is between $8,000-$9000, depending upon the final cost of the bronze finial. At present we are just over half- way there, but we need everyone's help to succeed.

                                                            LOCATION

  The site location for the monument is historic in itself. It is the original library building for the City of Geneva, Ohio; especially noteworthy because Spencer founded the city's first free public library in the 1830's. Platt Rogers Spencer lived in Geneva from age 10 until his death in 1864.
The library building was dedicated on Flag Day, 1910 ; one room featured a framed portrait of Spencer. In the 1980's a number of old paper folders containing penmanship specimens were discovered in the basement. It was there, in 1984, that I made my first stop in Geneva to begin my research for " Spencerian Script & Ornamental Penmanship", and assisted the library volunteers in identifying many of the specimens. For over 20 years participants of the Saga visited the Library to study their Spencerian collection.
  By the late 1990's the Geneva Library building was in a state of disrepair. A new library building was constructed several miles away, and the portrait was transferred to this new facility. Last year, efforts began to restore the original building in preparation for its new role as the County Courthouse. Today, the restoration is nearly completed, and to honor Platt Rogers Spencer, our monument will be placed on the grounds in front of the building. The site is considered the most historic location in Geneva.

                                                DEDICATION OF THE MONUMENT

  The official dedication of the Spencerian Monument for American Handwriting and re-dedication of the old Library building will take place on Friday, August 24, 2012. On behalf of the Spencerian Saga, Harvest Crittenden and I will be presenting a 30"x40" framed portrait of Spencer to the newly-renovated Courthouse. 
  Everyone is invited to attend this historic event. For further information, please contact Dawn Darner ( dawn@letteredinink.com), Harvest Crittenden ( harvest@acornarts.org), or myself ( michael@spencerian.com).

                                                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  Each of us shares a common bond in appreciating the remarkable skill of the past masters and their work. Many of us have spent years admiring their magnificent specimens, studying their techniques, and learning their history. Sometimes, it seems that we actually come close to knowing these men and women from the past. We speak their names with reverence, and can only imagine what it would have been like to study under their guidance. Now, however, we can do a great service for them.
  This is, indeed, a rare opportunity to take part in a project of national significance that is unprecedented in American history. We are the first penmen and admirers of American handwriting to accomplish this endeavor and, through our efforts, America's Golden Age of Penmanship will have a stone beacon to remind everyone of our handwriting heritage-- today, tomorrow, and for all future generations who will follow in our footsteps. With the creation of this monument and it's physical presence in Geneva, our legacy of penmanship will endure beyond our own lifetimes, and forever. Thank you so very much for your consideration to participate.

 Michael R. Sull
The Lettering Design Group
5830 Nall Avenue Suite 2
Mission, KS 66202

913.362.7864

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Calligraphy Nib Book





This fab idea for a Calligraphy Nib Book came from my good friend Victoria Lansford. We get together every now and then on Friday afternoons/evenings and play around in her studio. While we are usually up to no good, this time we actually managed to get in a tiny bit of practice and we swapped helpful notes.


Other than my current obscene collection of art supplies, I bring my 5-year old son Anton who is 5 and a Lego Meister in training. Anton's Lego Mentor is Victoria's son Skyler who has the largest collection of legos I have ever seen.  While they click the bricks, Victoria and I are in her studio and life gets real good.




Last Friday while we were inking around, Victoria whipped out one of these custom made nib holders she made of corrugated cardboard. She had seen something that Donna Dow of Atlanta's Calligraphy Guild, FoTA (Friends of the Alphabet) made and shared with the group using corregated cardboard and cigar boxes. This one works like a book with a flexible spine. The tiny stems of the nibs fit into the sides of the cardboard - they make perfect slots and hold the nib nice and still and safe while not in use. It's a terrific storage system and you can organize them however you like. She put hers together with book cloth tape. I used carpet tape (double sided tape) for mine and used some washi paper scraps to cover the other side of my tape. Thats why it looks so patchworked. I made a front and back cover with a spine for the fore edge and used a rubber band to keep it closed. This way you can close it all up and keep the nibs all comfy-cozy.




I did not pay too close attention to details and craft as I'm was in a hurry - this piece looks rode hard and put away wet and it's only two hours old. But it's functional! Oh - and don't pay attention to the cut I made on the cover that you can see underneath the paper with my last name on it in caps. THAT was a mistake. :)


On the inside cover is a handy nib comparison width chart. In between one of the "pages" is a scrap of crocus cloth used for sharpening nibs. Reggie Ezell is trying to break me of the habit of going after the entire surface of a nib, while all you need to do is carefully remove a bur or two. He gets the loop out and a 3-4 surface nail file used for manicures to carefully remove burs.




So! This little nib book is 4 inches wide and almost 4 inches high. The depth is about 1.5 inches.


The four cardboard pages are:
1" x 4"
1.5" x 4"
2" x 4"
2.5" x 4"


And that's it! Cool, huh?